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Comment Re:Until I forget that I have them! (Score 1) 308

I mean, I had a keyboard plug converters from 10 years ago, for crying out loud.

Damn it man! I was looking for one of those just the other day. I know I had one around somewhere. Luckily I still have at least one old AT keyboard that I didn't have to go digging for. Even though a couple keys on it don't work, it's still good enough to get Slackware installed on an old Pentium machine to use as a router/firewall.

Hardware Hacking

Grad Student Invents Cheap Laser Cutter 137

An anonymous reader writes "Peter Jansen, a PhD student and member of the RepRap community, has constructed a working prototype of an inexpensive table-top laser cutter built out of old CD/DVD drives as an offshoot of his efforts to design an under $200 open-source Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer. Where traditional laser cutters use powerful, fixed-focus beams, this new technique dynamically adjusts the focal point of the laser using a reciprocating motion similar to a reciprocating saw, allowing a far less powerful and inexpensive laser diode to be used. The technique is currently limited to cutting black materials to a depth of only a few millimeters, but should still be useful and enabling for Makers and other crafters. The end-goal is to create a hybrid inexpensive 3D printer that can be easily reconfigured for 2D laser cutting, providing powerful making tools to the desktop."

Comment Re:you can thank Patron Saint Orrin Hatch for this (Score 1) 713

it costs a LOT more money than you probably think to get 100 people and run a controlled study,... which in reality involves usually thousands of animals, several phases of toxicology testing, piloting production processes, and many et ceteras before those human trials even get approved,...).

And that is part of the problem and why it cost so much - use of methodologies which have no significant scientific application.
Which animal is anatomically, physiologically, immunologically, genetically and histologically identical to a human? None.

Monkeys/chimps may be a close relation, but strychnine isn't fatal to them as it is for humans. Testing pharmacueticals destined for human use on animals is a useless practice and throws science out the window - this is sanctioned quackery and much worse than any 'alternative medicine.' Which may in fact have real value, even if it's only the placebo effect which leads to the body healing itself via the immune system doing its job without the patient adding to the overall stress on the body by worrying about how sick they are. Certainly the FDA with all it's regulations is not much of a help in verifying the actual safety of many things.

You hit the nail on the head though, it's about making money. Tongue of newt could be the greatest thing since aspirin or penicillin (either of which anyone could technically get on their own from nature) but it will never be approved and given the official FDA nod in such a form simply because the money wasn't spent to adhere to the regulations, therefore no money could be made on it. So the wonder miracle cure achieved from tongue of newt would never be seen as anything but quackery and would forever be relegated to the realm of alternative medicine.

Comment Re:Looking from afar... (Score 1) 1515

Quite simply because it's something to bicker over and try to reaffirm one's own beliefs which in this case happen to have no solid proof by which to support those beliefs on either side no matter how much they blabber on. This is not unlike many other "issues" that politicians/media/etc. bring up about various candidates.

Technically one could argue that the educational opinions of anyone in D.C., much less the White House, has no bearing on anything whatsoever since public education is the responsibility of State and local governments and not that of the Federal Government. The mere existence of the Dept. of Ed. itself is constitutionally questionable. From what I recall there is no mention of education in the US Constitution so Congress has not been given any such authority. Meanwhile education is mentioned in at least most, if not all, State constitutions.

What some candidate thinks regarding the origin of our species, the existence of aliens, which OS is better, etc. is completely irrelevant. But of course candidates views on issues which, if elected, they will have the ability to affect are ignored. Nothing new here.

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